Sophia Smith Praised as Budding Star After Brace in USWNT's Dominant Win vs. Nigeria

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVSeptember 3, 2022

Ed Zurga/Getty Images

Sophia Smith is making her mark for the U.S. women's national team. Just ask Nigeria.

The dazzling young forward notched a first-half brace and added an assist Saturday, pacing the United States in its 4-0 friendly win in Kansas City.

FOX Soccer @FOXSoccer

πŸ”₯<a href="https://twitter.com/sophsssmith?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@sophsssmith</a>πŸ”₯<a href="https://twitter.com/USWNT?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@USWNT</a> gets on the board first against Nigeria πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ <a href="https://t.co/XsAQ2j4izj">pic.twitter.com/XsAQ2j4izj</a>

FOX Soccer @FOXSoccer

πŸ™Œ <a href="https://twitter.com/sophsssmith?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@sophsssmith</a> gets her second! ⚽️⚽️<br><br>Her brace makes it 3-0 in KC! πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ <a href="https://t.co/7awuMh6BKJ">pic.twitter.com/7awuMh6BKJ</a>

Not surprisingly, Smith was the toast of Twitter after her strong performance:

mia γƒŸβ˜† @cpfc23

Sophia smith: best player on the uswnt right now

Ellston Logan @EllstonLogan

That's better. Our first fluid move. Another goal for Sophia Smith. Who is officially a menace. <br><br>US 3 - 0 Nigeria<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/USWNT?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#USWNT</a>

Danielle, infamous Current fan ︽✡︽ @likethe309

Can't wait to watch Sophia Smith become the all time goal scorer before she hits the age of 30

RJ Allen @ASoccerPundit

Sophia Smith's form right now is bananas.



sarah @worldofawfc

Sophia Smith is such a joy to watch

lauren @njdlauren

the world should fear Sophia Smith for the 2023 WC

el ✰ uso era! @laurelnarelle

sophia smith you young legend

ugh @838_carlisle

sophia smith might be my favorite player right now. dribbling, off ball movement, ridiculous balance, scores with her left or right, and full of That Dawg.

This was, unsurprisingly, a dominant performance from the United States, which held 56 percent of possession and outshot the visitors 14-8 (9-4 on goal).

Lindsey Horan and Alex Morgan added the game's other tallies:

FOX Soccer @FOXSoccer

πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ<a href="https://twitter.com/LindseyHoran?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@LindseyHoran</a> makes it look too easy 🀯<a href="https://twitter.com/USWNT?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@USWNT</a> leads 2-0! <a href="https://t.co/M9JW8809to">pic.twitter.com/M9JW8809to</a>

FOX Soccer @FOXSoccer

πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ <a href="https://twitter.com/USWNT?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@USWNT</a> now lead 4-0! πŸ‘<a href="https://twitter.com/alexmorgan13?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@alexmorgan13</a> steps up and buries it from the spot! 😀 <a href="https://t.co/G1japS94r8">pic.twitter.com/G1japS94r8</a>

But Smith was the story. She leads the USWNT with nine goals in 2022 to go along with her excellent form in NWSL play (11 goals and two assists in 13 games for the Portland Thorns).

Very quickly, she has emerged as a force for her country:

U.S. Women's National Soccer Team @USWNT

With 10 goals in 22 caps, <a href="https://twitter.com/sophsssmith?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@sophsssmith</a> is now tied with <a href="https://twitter.com/MichelleAkers10?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@MichelleAkers10</a> for the 6th fastest to double-digit goals in <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/USWNT?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#USWNT</a> history! <a href="https://t.co/agpIc2fJIp">pic.twitter.com/agpIc2fJIp</a>

OptaJack⚽️ @OptaJack

10 - Sophia Smith (22 years, 24 days) is the seventh-youngest <a href="https://twitter.com/USWNT?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@USWNT</a> player to score 10 goals and the second-youngest in the last 20 years (M. Pugh - 19y 341d). Breakout. <a href="https://t.co/aMXqcO8llx">pic.twitter.com/aMXqcO8llx</a>

When fully healthy, the United States has no shortage of attacking options. But Smith has made a very strong case this year for why she should be starting for the team on the right wing. Her pace and finishing are already world class, and at 22 she still hasn't hit her full potential.

Stardom appears imminent for Smith. As the United States continues its preparations for the World Cup in 2023, she continues to show why she'll be an important player in Australia and New Zealand as the Americans look to make it three titles in a row.


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